Supermarket retailer Ahold shelves plan to spin off Bol.com
Supermarket major Ahold Delhaize said on August 10 it was postponing plans for an initial public offering (IPO) of its non-food retailer, Bol.com, because of unfavourable market conditions.
The group had planned to list Bol.com — which sells a wide variety of goods including fashion and beauty —in the second half of the year, but said in a quarterly earnings statement it had decided to suspend this, adding that it would revisit the plans when equity market conditions are “more conducive”.
Ahold said total second-quarter group sales increased 15% to €21.4 billion ($21.85 billion), in line with an average company-compiled analyst consensus. Underlying operating income of €880 million beat an €815 million company-compiled estimate based on 16 analysts, it said.
The company nudged up its full-year earnings per share outlook to “mid-single-digit growth” compared with 2021 levels. In May, it had forecast a decline of low-to mid-single digits.
“Our results in the first half of the year provide management with the confidence to raise the underlying EPS growth outlook for 2022,” it said.
Ahold CEO Frans Muller said that Ahold remains “committed to securing the right future path to unlock value for Bol.com and Ahold Delhaize, and will revisit opportunities when market conditions are more conducive.”
Net consumer online sales at Bol.com declined by 2.1% in the second quarter, Ahold said, after having jumped 24.2% in the comparative quarter of 2021, when e-commerce was heavily supported by the pandemic.